Soaking Up the Slumber

I have goosebumps.

It’s been a little bit chilly here in Boston this week! But man, is it lovely. We have been blessed with sunshine and ~perfect~ temperatures.

Classes start again in just 4 days, so I have given myself guilt-free permission to soak up as much slumber and relaxation as I can before all hell breaks loose (← drama queen).

For example, on Monday I set my alarm for 8 am, but I closed my eyes for two seconds… and the next thing I know, it’s 10 am. LOL. It’s still been a productive week of getting some errands done, catching up with friends, praying, and (yes) even a little bit of studying to prepare for classes.

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Here are some random thoughts and things from the noggin on this Friday:

1) What is your all-time favorite fudgy brownie recipe? I made some for my friends and myself last weekend using this recipe from I Am Baker, and they were delicious, but I’m open to recommendations!

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2) The Super Premium French Vanilla ice cream from Trader Joe’s is RIDICULOUS. It is the most luxuriously creamy and dreamy ice cream I have ever purchased from a store.

3) Shoutout to my friend Evan for poaching eggs for avocado toast. We ran into each other at Mass on Sunday and decided to catch up over lunch. I offered to make us avocado toast instead of going out to eat (yo girl has been spending so much $$ recently), and we both appreciated the decision.

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I think making avocado toast is my love language to all my friends.

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more egg toasts this week (one with cheese, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and cumin + one classic avocado with sriracha)

4) I had some random determination to make a vegetarian meal for this week’s dinners, so I made this chickpea and spinach curry. The full-fat coconut milk in it warms my heart and clogs my heart all at the same time, and I love it. This was also my first time using garam masala! It only took me TWENTY MINUTES to find it at the grocery store.

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5) The BEST thing I made this week was peach blueberry cobbler — a summer necessity in my book! I doubled this recipe and obviously added blueberries.

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buttery biscuit goodness enveloping saucy sweet fruit YES

Undoubtedly had to eat it a la mode (hot out of the oven, might I add). More of that dreamy vanilla ice cream from TJs.

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I got to share it with many friends the day I made it, which made me very happy.

6) I ate out for three meals in a row, and although I felt a little “blah” from all the heavy food, it was so worth the company and conversation. The food was also fabulous.

Meal #1 was at Audubon with my dear friend Casey. We hadn’t caught up one-on-one in so long, so this was much needed.

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love this girl so much

We shared the polpette (meatballs that they made with venison and beef) with asiago, tomato sauce and the most delicious charred hunk o’ bread.

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And then I had the roasted vegetable salad, which had delicious things like sweet potatoes, beets, fennel (did not realize how much I liked fennel ’til that night!), brussels sprouts, fennel, arugula, and pine nuts. Look how pretty this stack is!

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It does’t look like much in this photo, but there were SO MANY vegetables in there. I had to take some home.

Meal #2 and #3 do not have photo documentation because I didn’t feel like whipping out my phone in the middle of conversation. Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Barnes (our Catholic Center chaplain) kindly treated me to a burger and a beer at the Sunset Grill and Tap as a belated birthday gift to me. Both the burger and the beer (I got the Great Divide “Roadie” Grapefruit Radler) were superb.

Late at night, my friend Elayne and her parents generously treated me to dinner at Barcelona Wine and Tapas, since I helped Elayne move earlier in the day. We shared four bomb tapas + seafood paella + crepes and ice cream. Oh my goodness.

Full of many good things indeed.

7) I am convinced that my current training goals include move-in and move-out. I work out so that I can move furniture and boxes up and down stairs efficiently and safely. #FunctionalFitness.

8) This burpee box jump workout is killer if you ever need something to get the heart rate up. I subbed 12 heavy over-the-shoulder slam ball throws for the wall balls. Your soleus might be extremely sore the next day, to the point of wanting to strangle a small animal when foam rolling them.

This is also a short and sweet 16- minute workout that will make your butt sore for days.

4 rounds, 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off:

  • goblet squats (35# KB)
  • dive bomber pushups
  • box jumps (25 in)
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup burpees
  • KB swings (35#)

9) I just enjoyed a very green smoothie, because my veggie intake yesterday included lettuce on my burger and a couple mushrooms smothered in goat cheese. And many many potatoes.

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10) I hope my American/Canadian friends have wonderful Labor/Labour Day weekends! And good luck to all my fellow college students starting the new semester. If you’re anxious…

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are out of your control, why are you anxious about the rest? – Luke 12:25

These words have been giving me a lot of peace amidst the worry of a very busy semester ahead.

BYE FOR NOW!

So tell me:

What is a classic summer dessert that you love to eat/make every year?

What is your favorite store-bought brand of ice cream?

Favorite brownie recipe?

What are you doing this weekend?

College students: How does the schedule look like this semester? Mine makes me a little nauseous looking at it, but we shall overcome!!

 

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Operation “Say Yes”

…”to the dress.” I’m getting married!

Just kidding. This is about how I am the flakiest, most indecisive person ever.

“Hey, Alison, do you wanna go out tonight?”

“Oh!…maybe. I’ll let you know. I want to, but I need to do ‘stuff’ tonight.”

“Okay let me know!”

(Two hours later) “I think I’ll come!”

“Yay!”

(20 minutes later) “Actually…I think I should stay in….”

“Aw. Okay.”

(5 minutes later) “But should I just go out?”

“Yeah if you can!”

(2 minutes later) “Maybe not…”

“Alison… Do whatever you want.”

I’m indecisive because I spend too much time thinking about whether I should go somewhere or not, and then I end up procrastinating anyway, when I could have gone out, come back, and done what I needed to do.

So this past week was Operation: “Say Yes”

Yes to going out on Thursday night.

Because Thursdays are the new Friday, right? We actually don’t have classes on Friday, so Thursday really is the start of our weekends for the first half of our semester.

97% of the time, I’m not one to say, “I wanna go out tonight!” I’m usually more like, “let’s go get dessert and be in our PJs early tonight!” But I felt like celebrating the submission of our first big paper on Thursday, so I went out to a pub with some friends that night. It was my first night really “going out” in regards to drinking and such.

I drank more than I ever have that night, but I was still totally sober throughout, haha.

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“Baby Guinness” (Kahlua and a touch of Bailey’s— looks like a Guinness but tastes like chocolate!)

I only had one of these. I’m not that tolerant (or wealthy).

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arguably the most pointless €5 purchase of my life

Not even tipsy, but not mad about it. Watching all the other wild kids around me was fun enough.

My favorite part was coming back past midnight and sharing a big bowl of popcorn with my friend.

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Yes to napping.

Because I went to bed at 2:30 am after a night out and woke up naturally at 8:50-ish on Friday morning.

I was thinking of doing a longer workout later that day rather than napping, but napping gave me energy to PR my 100 burpee time! 6:16!
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I was on the ground panting two minutes before this photo was taken

Yes to walking somewhere solely for dessert.

My friend Brenna and I went to Bread & Butter to pick up dessert on Friday night, which was a freaking fantastic decision. I bought bread and butter pudding for €2.95, and the portion was HUGE. Megan was kind enough to have half, and she shared her vanilla ice cream with me to go with it 🙂

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this is only one half of the whole portion they gave me

10x better than alcohol. 100x happier. (Half the price too, holla.)

Yes to the Bray Cliff Walk with three friends.

I could have spent the whole day working on my ethics essay, but I decided to go to another cliff walk for the first half of the day. So worth the fresh air, exercise, and company!

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selfie with a banana, because I am a banana

The walk took approximately 2 hours, since we stopped for a bunch of photo sessions.

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thank you to Brigid and Caroline for this photo!

For lunch, we chose The Happy Pear, a super cute vegetarian market/cafe/restaurant.

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I got this bomb Buddha bowl, which had brown rice, pickled cabbage, “kimchi” (wasn’t actually kimchi, but that’s what they called it), lentil dahl, garlic kale, avocado, and sweet potato fries!

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Hiking and buddha bowls, are we in LA!?

Yes to FaceTiming four people over the weekend.

I miss my friends a lot, and although it can take a couple hours to FaceTime a couple people, it is always worth it to talk with such beautiful souls. I laughed and cried.

Yes to Sunday brunch.

After Mass on Sunday, I met up with my friend Cassandra for brunch at a fabulous little place called Herbstreet.

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This was one of those restaurants where you think, “I could honestly order any of this.” Cassandra and I both went for savory + sweet.

Cassandra got the “Eggos Mexicalos” for her main, which was spicy and satisfying (and GUACAMOLE). I got a strange combo— smoked salmon with capers and dill creme fraiche + small stack of blueberry pancakes with orange butter. I ate them separately, don’t worry.

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I was totally craving pancakes, and MAN did these deliver. I love blueberry pancakes, but the zesty orange butter really put it over the top.

The best of the meal was Cassandra’s sweet pick: the French toast with caramelized bananas, pecans, and clotted. cream.

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Be still my heart (but not literally, please, I know this is a lot of cholesterol, sry). We already decided that we have to go back.

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Yes to working out outside. 

I usually work out in my room these days, because a) that’s all I have time for; b) it’s dewy and cold outside in the morning. But on Sunday, I took a nap and just went outside with my jump rope. It was glorious to move and groove outside!!!

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5 rounds:

  • 50 double unders
  • 2 laps (~1/3 of a mile)
  • 5 pistol squats each leg

Yes to walking.

It can be time-consuming to walk to city centre from our campus, and sometimes I feel like I should save time and take the bus, but it’s [almost] always a good idea to walk.

I say [almost], because yesterday we walked to Parliament for a field trip, and it was down pouring. I was soaked and freezing throughout the rest of the field trip, but Megan reminded me to be grateful that I can go home and be warm, whereas some people cannot.

#HUMBLED.

Yes to cooking for real. 

I bit the bullet and bought a tikka masala simmer sauce for some chicken, plus bell peppers and real rice (I refuse to buy microwave or “boil in a bag” rice).

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Prior to this, I had just been seasoning things with salt and pepper because I wanted to be cheap and minimalist, but variety is the spice of life. Or spice is the variety of life?

This delicious lunch salad also happened a couple days ago:

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beets, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, two fried eggs, salt and pepper

Yes to saying no to blogging.

It’s been a busy week with essay writing and such, so the blog has been on the back burner. I wanted to type this post for Monday…then Tuesday…then Wednesday…then Thursday…and now it’s finally typed. Life happens, and I’m always learning how to prioritize.

Yes to a free online yoga inversions class on the CodyApp.

It was on Tuesday night right after my healthcare policy class ended, plus it was free, so I just signed up and did it! I highly recommend CodyApp, guys. I mean, I’ve only tried the free classes so far, but even those are great. This inversions class really did help me learn more about handstand alignment!

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not in the inversions class, but wanted to see how titibasana was coming along

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend! I’m organizing a wine and cheese night for the group tonight, and I AM PUMPED. Finals are next week already, LOL (we start internships in November!).

So tell me:

Are you indecisive?

Is it hard for you to say yes to things?

Two beautiful things that you did/happened to you this week!

I’m Lazy With Minor Tasks

The good thing about Skype interviews is that you don’t have to wear real pants.

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just don’t accidentally stand up during the interview if you choose to be pants-less

The bad thing about Skype interviews is that it involves technology, and technology fails sometimes. I had a planned Skype interview with my study abroad internship yesterday morning, but I was told that Skype wasn’t working on their end after 40 minutes of waiting, so I will instead be having a face-to-face interview with them when I get to Ireland.

Darn. I even cooked stovetop oats for fuel, got my war paint makeup on and everything!

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blueberry banana egg white chia oatmeal with peanut butter

I’m not really upset though. I’m looking forward to the in-person interview!

I also woke up stressing over the submission of my criminal background check for study abroad, which I had ordered and received in April. For whatever reason though, I never opened the envelope until two days ago? Thus, I never sent it in, which thankfully wasn’t a problem(I just scanned and sent it yesterday, no big deal), but it reminded me of how I almost didn’t get to start my job this summer…because of a criminal background check form that I didn’t send.

I consider myself a pretty diligent person with most things I do. Schoolwork, blogging, relationships, etc. However, I notice that I can be flat out LAZY with minor details.

It’s usually something that will take a grand total of 10 seconds to check/complete and that will benefit me, not at the present moment, but definitely at a later time.

Like opening up the damn envelope, scanning the forms, and sending an email. Five minutes tops. But for whatever reason, at the time, I feel like, “I don’t need to,” or, “It will take too long.”

Alison, you spend 20 minutes scrolling social media, STOP IT.

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I have to remember that the minor, menial tasks are what accumulate to achieve the end goal. I’ve definitely learned the importance of this lesson during my job this summer.

In other news, this salad I ate for lunch yesterday was the most delicious piece of earth I’ve eaten in a long time (weird statement).

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spinach, beets, roasted broccoli, grilled garden eggplant (salt, pepper, EVOO, made by Madre— fantastic), garden tomatoes, and leftover pork chop

The garden eggplant and tomato were from a patient at work! So sweet of them.

Lastly, I saw a shooting star last night on an evening walk while FaceTiming my friend! What a blessed way to end the day.

It’s already pre-Friday, let’s partayyyy!

So tell me:

Do you find yourself losing diligence with menial tasks (that actually matter) too?

Have you ever had a business video call? Did you wear real pants?

What is the best salad you’ve eaten recently? 

Work Hard, Rest Hard

It finally happened this summer.

I went to bed at an ungodly hour on a Saturday night and woke up at 11. Ughhhhh.

I’m not too mad about it though, because I got to spend some quality time with high school friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.

Other weekend happenings:

Thursday

Not part of the weekend, but I made some good food that night! “Made” = throwing things in a bowl. Like this salad with baby kale mix, leftover sautéed brussels sprouts, sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced beets (from a can ➔ college d-hall memories), and avocado.

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Late night baking adventures involved Amanda’s Greek yogurt banana oat bread! I baked it in two 8×8 pans to speed up the baking time since it was late (and I’m impatient).

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I brought most of the banana bread to work on Friday, and it disappeared by the end of the day! I was that girl who brought whole grains into the midst of (freaking delicious) brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Friday

You know when you’re go-go-go all day, and then you finally sit down? Then you realize that you never ever want to move your butt off that chair? That was my Friday after work.

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But I love days like that (after I get to sit down).

Part of the hustlin’ day included cooking up a hearty dinner. I baked some chicken thighs with half a sliced onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichokes, lots of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then topped with fresh mozzarella near the end of baking.

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that broiled, crispy mozzarella is magical

Then I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti for the base.

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TGIF.

These babies also happened:

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper @ 400F for ~30 min)

Whenever I roast vegetables, I eat my fill straight off the pan when they come out of the oven. 😀

Saturday

Early morning overnight oat smoothie bowl (almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, greens + granola on top) before some praying and morning Mass.

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I came back home and napped before movin’ and groovin’ in the backyard. I didn’t have too much time, so I did 5 rounds of Jess’ KILLER 1000 rep workout. I used two 15# kettlebells and a 36# bar, so I made some substitutions:

This workout is quite difficult in an AC’d gym. HALF of this workout is MADNESS in the humid heat. God bless naps and rest days that allowed me to power through that.

I definitely snacked on some brussels sprouts and tomatoes before that workout too.

After showering in cold water, I headed to lunch with two of my good high school friends, Sam and Je’lyn! We met up at The Beehive for sandwiches (after a long bout of menu indecisiveness).

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I went with the turkey club (oven roasted turkey, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo) + side salad. I was hungry, so I wanted something hearty. I got what I wanted, because I think the earth shook when this landed on our table:

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thinking, “is this all three of our orders on one plate?”

A double-decker, half-foot-long (maybe longer) turkey freaking CLUB.

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Literally three meals. I had this portion you see in this photo (eaten as a single decker + an open-faced sandwich), Ben had another portion for his dinner that night, and I had the last portion yesterday for brunch. Talk about a deal!

The three of us caught up on our lives and had great conversation before heading home. I hung out with Ben for a bit, ate some frozen bananas and kettle corn, and then we went to Mass (counting for Sunday Mass). I was still pretty full from my late lunch/late snack, so I ate veggies and crackers with hummus for a light snack.

I dropped off Ben at the train station since he had his first overnight work shift in the city on Saturday night. Oof.

While he was over there making dough, I was spending dough on ice cream with Sam, Michael and Jordan. More long-since-seen friends!

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blueberry cheesecake + captain crunch berry ice cream

Village Creamery is amazing.

Sam invited us over to hang out at her house. We vegged out on her couches and chatted for several hours. Later in the night, Sam gave me a Tim Tam and made me Vegemite toast, since she just got back from studying abroad in Australia (‘Straya)!

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Vegemite smells like stale bread.

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You’re supposed to butter the toast and add a super thin layer of Vegemite. Verdict? I like it! It’s just…salty. Like, extra salty buttered toast with a hint of yeast flavor. I understand why no one can really explain what it tastes like.

Arman, are you proud!?

I got home at around 1, had a dance party by myself in the kitchen, reminisced on old blog posts for old time’s sake, and went to bed after 2:30 AM. I am fully culpable for messing up my sleep schedule.

Sunday

I got up at 8 AM first to pick up Ben from the train station. Then we both hit the hay again, and I woke up at almost 11.

Big brunch it was!

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last of the turkey club with extra greens and sriracha + unpictured brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes

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a small piece of banana bread baked oatmeal + blueberries

I decided to truly embrace Sunday as the day of rest (something that I need to work on). I watched Food Network while typing this post for a couple hours, went on a long walk, danced a little, did some reading…

“Work hard, play hard” is fun, but “work hard, rest hard” is what I needed.

Madre and Pop were away for the weekend in California for a family function, so after they arrived back home last night, we went to (a Groupon) dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

Me to Ben: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that much meat.”

If you’re not familiar with Brazilian Rodizio, it’s essentially meat on demand. Waiters come around to your table with giant skewers of various meats and sausages, and you can just say “yes” or “no” to the meat that arrives.

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red side of the card for “no meat, please” // green side of the card for “please bring me dat meat”

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They slice off a piece of the meat for you, and you use your personal mini tongs to grab it. So interactive, I love it.

There’s a salad bar buffet, where you can fill your plate with fresh accompaniments for your plethora of meats.

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And there are these complimentary Brazilian. cheese. puffs.

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These pao de queijo were so incredible that we asked for a second basket. Madre, Ben and I each had three, ignoring most of the other side dishes. They’re made with tapioca flour, which makes them the DOUGHIEST little nuggets of gold you ever tasted. I definitely Googled how to make them when I got home, which was a great yet terrible move, because I learned that they’re so easy to make…Cheese puffs ALL THE TIME.

Other side dishes that came with the meal included some superb rice, baked beans, pickle-y salsa, yucca flour (??), and fried bananas (← we ate as dessert).

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I must have tried 8 different meats, but my favorites were the top sirloin, chicken, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef rib. They also had some bomb grilled pineapple at the end!

Me: “I think I’m going to go vegetarian for the rest of this week.”

^^^Lies.

What a wonderful dining experience to end the weekend!

Now Ben and I are skipping around between watching Sharknado (the most horrendously bizarre show I’ve ever laid eyes on), American Ninja Warrior, and Harry Potter. I’m also baking some more banana bread baked oatmeal for the week!

Hope you all have a delightful Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What are your favorite rest activities (oxymoron, I know)? Baking, walking, meditating, and jamming out to music are my faves.

What is the biggest sandwich you’ve ever ordered? 

Have you ever had Brazilian Rodizio?